Eid-ul-Fitr this year will be different from the usual ones that the Muslims all over the world celebrate every year after a month-long fast in Ramadan. The entire world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 326,000 people have already died of this deadly virus in almost 213 countries and territories. The death surpasses 400 in Bangladesh as of Friday.

In addition to the crisis, Bangladesh fell prey to another disaster super cyclone Amphan that killed 21 people and affected 19 districts in the southern part of the country.

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In such a situation, when people confined in their homes find no joy of festivity, let us hope we we will soon go back to a healthy and normal life after overcoming this crisis.

The aim of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is to practice physical and spiritual restraint. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, we must be extremely careful to protect ourselves from infection.

Since the lockdown has been relaxed and the movement of people in shops, markets and streets has increased, now everyone needs be extra careful. Proper adherence to all the hygiene rules, including maintaining social and physical distance, will greatly reduce the risk of transmission.

First of all, we must show restraint in our shopping on this occasion of Eid. At a time when a large number of people are suffering due to scarce food, it is not right for the rich to feast just because they can afford it.

On the contrary, it is necessary to extend a helping hand to the poor and the underprivileged . And those who go to the market to buy daily essentials, must try to return home as soon as possible, maintaining physical distance. Crowds in the markets and on the streets will greatly increase the risk of spreading the virus.

Secondly, the government has instructed people not to move from their current places. This is not the time to celebrate the Eid at hometowns travelling by train, bus, launch or other vehicles.

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Crowds will only increase the risk of being infected with coronavirus and that risk can be fatal — everyone needs to realise that. According to the government instructions, Eid prayers will be held in the mosques.

Devotees must go to the mosque to perform prayers maintaining physical distance and using masks. Embracing and handshakes must be avoided. The authority conducting Eid congregation in every mosque should keep an eye on these. The mosque authorities should give directions in this regard.

Thirdly, public transport must be completely shut down. Strict police patrols should be arranged on the roads and highways to ensure that no one can move from one area to another even in small vehicles.

We sincerely hope that everyone will carefully observe the holy Eid-ul-Fitr, avoiding the risk of infection. Eid Mubarak to all.